Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: LeBron James #23 of Team LeBron is introduced for for the upcoming 2018 NBA All-Star game during practice at the Verizon Up Arena at LACC on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty ImagesLOS ANGELES — LeBron James says he will not stick to sports.The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar reiterated his determination to speak out on social issues and the nation’s political climate Saturday during his media availability for the NBA All-Star Game.ADVERTISEMENT Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers James referenced Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson as athletes who previously spoke up for equality and change without concerns about the consequences or any rewards.“We know it’s bigger than us,” James said. “It’s not about us. I’m going to continue to do what I have to do to play this game that I love to play, but this is bigger than me playing the game of basketball.”James was backed at media day by several All-Stars including Stephen Curry, Paul George, Draymond Green and Durant. They all believe athletes have an important opportunity to advocate for positive social change.“We’re a part of what’s going on this world, what’s going on in this society, just as much as anybody else,” said George, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward from nearby Palmdale, California. “We’re fathers. We’re sons. We’re brothers. We’ve got family to look after. We’re connected as deeply in this as anybody else is. For someone to go out and say, ‘Stick to dribbling a basketball,’ that’s pretty ignorant. That just goes to show you where we are as a country right now.”Curry called the Fox News host’s comments and dismissive tone “aggressive and just out of line … but not surprising, because I’ve heard that plenty of times before.”ADVERTISEMENT “That’s the tone that people (utilize to) try to put athletes and black athletes in a box, to say, ’Basketball is the only thing that you can provide in this world,’” Curry said. “It’s really, obviously, very upsetting. I think the way that we handle the response is to highlight all the good that we’re doing … Every single NBA athlete here that plays this game, that’s not what we’re about. That’s not all that we contribute to this world.“Guys are going out, putting resources and funds, and raising awareness in the community and trying to make the world a better place through what we do.” “I will not just shut up and dribble,” James said. “I get to sit up here and talk about what’s really important.”James spoke publicly afer Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized the three-time NBA champion for his recent comments about social issues. James previously responded with an Instagram post containing similar sentiments.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We will definitely not shut up and dribble,” James said. “I will definitely not do that. I mean too much to society. I mean too much to the youth. I mean too much to so many kids that feel like they don’t have a way out and they need someone to help lead them out of the situation they’re in.”James made the initial public comments in question during a recent video segment on Uninterrupted, a platform co-founded by James. He was joined by Kevin Durant, and both superstars were sharply critical of President Donald Trump and the nation’s racial climate. LATEST STORIES AFP official booed out of forum MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Resurgence View comments
They are on a purple patch and will be hoping to carry on the good from here as well. However skipper Graeme Smith needs to do something about his erratic form before it’s too late. Otherwise, he is known to lead from the front and deliver the goods when the chips are down.Allrounder Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and J.P. Duminy are the men to watch. For the record Amla has a 90 plus strike rate and his average is just a shy from 60 in the ODIs.Kallis’s exploits with the bat in the recently concluded Test series are well documented. Not to forget his maiden double ton in Centurion.The pace department looks strong with the presence of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. They have even included leg spinner Imran Tahir to increase their bowling strength.Squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk (wk)
Origi reluctant as Liverpool say he can leaveby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool have informed Divock Origi he can leave in January.HLN says the Belgium striker has been told he can find himself a new club. However, Origi doesn’t want to leave.The forward believes he can still find a place in manager Jurgen Klopp’s plans, though also is reluctant to take a pay-cut to leave.Origi was celebrated last month by Reds fans after scoring the winner against Everton.The departure of Dominic Solanke to Crystal Palace on-loan has strengthened Origi’s chances of playing more at Liverpool this season.And he has told his agents he’d prefer to stay until making a definitive decision in June. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith runs for yardage during action between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois on November 4, 2006. Ohio State won 17-10. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)Ohio State’s NFL hopefuls will have a former Heisman Trophy throwing to them during the Buckeyes’ pro day this morning. Troy Smith, who won the prestigious award at OSU in 2006, is scheduled to throw to the Buckeyes’ former wide receiver Devin Smith, former tight end Jeff Heuerman and others at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this afternoon. Smith has been out of the NFL since 2010. Former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith getting loose. Scheduled to throw later on at OSU Pro Day. pic.twitter.com/hHQvnvNmtn— Ryan Cooper (@RyanCooperOSU) March 13, 2015 This isn’t surprising – Ohio State typically brings in a guest quarterback to throw to its players on pro day. It’ll be interesting to see how the former All-American looks, though.
Coach K speaks with Dillon BrooksOregon took down defending national champion Duke on Thursday night, securing its place in the Elite Eight this weekend. The end of the contest, however, featured a little bit of controversy.On Oregon’s final possession, as the shot clock was winding down, Ducks forward Dillon Brooks launched and hit a deep three-pointer, which was meaningless to the game’s outcome. He then celebrated wildly, clearly irritating some of Duke’s players. As we showed you earlier, Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen wouldn’t shake Brooks’ hand. Coach K reportedly took a different route in response.According to SI’s Pete Thamel, Krzyzewski told Brooks that he’s “too good of a player” to show off. Brooks agreed.Brooks shoots 3 on final poss. Allen not happy. Coach K said something after.L ooks like Brooks says “I’m sorry” pic.twitter.com/248waQp5uS— Chris Law (@ChrisLaw) March 25, 2016Dillon Brooks said Coach K told him in handshake line, “I’m too good of a player to be showing off at the end.” Brooks: “He’s right.”— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 25, 2016Regardless, Oregon moves on and will face 2-seed Oklahoma on Saturday. It should be a fantastic game.
zoom The Hanjin Marine is the first Hanjin ship to call at one of the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s (NWSA) terminals, after the South Korean shipping company filed for receivership in late August.The Hanjin Marine was expected to call at Terminal 18 in Seattle on August 25. The vessel was scheduled to call Terminal 46, however, this was changed due to space issues.Terminal 18 said it will not charge for import pickups and will not accept empty containers.On September 22, 2016, the Hanjin Marine was anchored off Vancouver Island and the second ship, the Hanjin Scarlet was also at anchor outside of Prince Rupert. According to NWSA, it was unclear whether either ship will call Seattle.The Hanjin Scarlet was anchored directly upon arrival at Prince Rupert on August 30, in the wake of reports that Hanjin Shipping had applied for court protection from its creditors. The ship finished unloading cargo at the port on September 9 and has been anchored since then outside the port.NWSA Olympic Container Terminal (OCT) in Tacoma is still not accepting or dispatching any empty Hanjin containers. In addition, Husky Terminal in Tacoma is neither receiving nor releasing any empty Hanjin containers.According to terminal operator Total Terminals International (TTI), Hanjin gate transactions at Terminal 46 are performed for import delivery only.Last week, it was reported that cash held by Hanjin, coupled with commitments from the company’s leading shareholder, the leading creditor and the parent group’s CEO, should be enough to cover the costs of unloading cargo from the company’s boxships stranded offshore.
Redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) dances with his teammates after a game against Purdue Nov. 2 at Ross-Ade Stadium. OSU won, 56-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFor a moment, the fans in Ohio Stadium held their breath.Then-sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller was on his way to the hospital and OSU’s undefeated season laid in the hands of then-redshirt-junior Kenny Guiton.Guiton led the Buckeyes on a game tying touchdown drive with 3 seconds left in regulation, and to an eventual 29-22 overtime win against Purdue Oct. 20, 2012.It was a moment that stands out in his five-year OSU career, Guiton said Monday, because of what it meant to the team.“No. 1, that Purdue game last year. Just coming in and (saving) a 12-0 season. You know, I don’t think that I did it on my own or anything, but just keeping that 12-0 alive and I think that was big for our seniors,” Guiton said. “Being that it was my first piece of some real action so that was pretty cool to do.”This season, Guiton has turned into somewhat of a celebrity at OSU. His entrance into the game invites chants of “Kenny G” from the Ohio Stadium crowd.Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Indiana (4-6, 2-4) is set to be Guiton’s final game in the Horseshoe as a Buckeye. Although he enjoys hearing his name screamed by the fans, Guiton said Saturday is going to be special for his family.“I hear that a lot,” Guiton said about hearing the chants. “One thing I’m happy about, my family coming up and getting to see that. I came all the way out here from Texas and (my) family don’t get to make (it up) much so them being here and seeing that, that will be so cool. I can’t wait for that.”But Guiton said despite the highs, Senior Day is going to be very emotional for all of those involved.“I actually thought about it a lot. I’ve been talking to a lot of guys about it … and we’re just like man, we can’t talk about that. We kind of get sentimental behind it. It’s going to be a touchy day … some tears may come out but I’m hoping not.”Miller went down with an sprained MCL earlier this season, this time missing two whole games and the majority of a third. “Kenny G” came in and impressed in Miller’s absence, throwing for a program record six touchdowns against Florida A&M Sept. 21.Coach Urban Meyer said Sept. 16, the Monday after Guiton’s first career start against California, he had been impressed with the play of his backup quarterback.“It’s arguably one of the most interesting case studies I’ve ever had as a coach is the story of Kenny Guiton … can you imagine being his parent right now, how cool that would be to see his development?” Meyer said. “If you buy stock, buy stock in Kenny Guiton.”Guiton said although the moment against Purdue will always stand out, this year has been something special as well.“I can’t settle down on this year either because it’s like, I never saw myself being the national player of the week,” Guiton said.Guiton was named the national player of the week after a 52-34 win against California, when he threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns.Despite Guiton’s big numbers at times this season, and popularity among the fans, Miller remains the starter for OSU, a fact that doesn’t bother Guiton.“Braxton deserves that credit,” Guiton said. “He puts in all the work, he’s a leader. He keeps his head up when stuff’s not going right. He’s keeping the team’s head up.”Miller said Nov. 13 after practice that his relationship with Guiton has been a big help to his growth as a player while he’s been at OSU.“I look up to him as a big brother, I’ve talked to him ever since I was being recruited,” Miller said.Meyer agreed, adding that Guiton has been a big help in Braxton’s improvement since his freshman season.“Now they’re both operating at a very high level,” Meyer said Nov. 13. “They’ve practice very hard, they prepare very hard, much different than a year ago, so I think Kenny had a lot to do with it and it’s a direct results of the way he prepares, the way he practices.”Guiton said Meyer treats the players and staff like a family.“One thing about coach Meyer is he’s straightforward. He’s going to tell you what he’s feeling. He’ll let you know what type of player you are and what he’s expecting out of you,” Guiton said. “I think that’s great … Everything’s said and we’re a family. He actually treats us like a family. And I think it’s really cool.”After the No. 3-ranked Buckeyes’ (10-0, 6-0) game against the Hoosiers, Guiton will not be returning to Ohio Stadium as a player for OSU. But that doesn’t rule out a potential future in Columbus for Guiton.“I have told the coaches that I want to do the coaching thing,” Guiton said. “So I hope so.”
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 13, 2017 – Nassau – Ms. Ethel Wood, who celebrated her 100th Birthday on December 10, 2017 had a special visit to her home by the Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, who brought warm birthday wishes on Friday December 8, 2017.(BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson) Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Rescued Rohingya refugees pose for photographs at the Border Guard Bangladesh camp in Teknaf on 8 February 2019. Bangladeshi border guards have rescued 30 Rohingya refugees from a coastal town who were waiting to board on boats which would “take them to Malaysia”, an official said on 8 February. Photo: AFPPolice have stopped 43 Rohingya refugees from being smuggled to Malaysia by boat with a dozen women claiming they were abducted by traffickers, officials said Thursday.Acting on tip-offs, police found the refugees at two separate places in the southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar, raising the number of Rohingya being rescued from the traffickers to more than 100 in less than a week.About 740,000 of the Muslim minority fled Myanmar for Bangladesh after a military clampdown in the Buddhist-majority nation in August 2017.They have joined another 300,000 Rohingya who have already been living in overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar following previous bouts of violence.Officials fear many may end up being exploited by an internationally organised human smuggling racket who have previously sent thousands of Rohingya to Malaysia by boats until the authorities launched a crackdown in 2015 following the discovery of mass graves of refugees in Thailand.Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit, said they rescued 12 women—mostly in their 20s—from a residential room in Cox’s Bazar city early Thursday morning and arrested two alleged traffickers for “abducting” them.“The young women from the refugee camps were lured by the traffickers. They were promised they would be sent to Malaysia. They were then brought to Cox’s Bazar and kept in a house,” RAB spokesman Mashkur Rahman told AFP.Rahman said they were treating it as a case of abduction after the women claimed they were confined in a room without consent.In another drive late Wednesday, Cox’s Bazar police rescued another 31 Rohingya from the southern island of Maheshkhali, some 110 kilometres (70 miles) away from the overcrowded Kutupalong refugee camp.Local police chief Provash Chandra said the 14 women, 11 men and six children were hiding in a coastal forest at Maheskhali waiting to board a Malaysian-bound boat.“They paid some 20,000 taka ($240) each to the traffickers for the journey,” he said.He said they arrested a woman trafficker and were “searching for others”.Dangerous sign -An analyst said the latest discovery of Malaysia-bound Rohingya was a “dangerous” sign and shows the desperation at more than 30 refugee camps where the Rohingya live in bamboo and tarpaulin made shanties in squalid conditions.“It is very natural for the desperate refugees to attempt the risk to search for a better future,” Tasneem Siddiqui, who heads a Bangladeshi think tank on migration issues, told AFP.“They know the way is full of obstacles, yet many think this is their only way out,” she said.Authorities fear that more Rohingya will try to take boats to Malaysia while the Bay of Bengal remains calm before the arrival of monsoons at the end of March.
On Monday’s Houston Matters: It could be the most important public service we provide on Houston Matters: We help out you and other Houstonians to get something we all desperately need: a good night’s sleep.We welcome your questions about sleep and sleep disorders for Dr. Richard Castriotta, the director of pulmonary and sleep medicine at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School, and the medical director of the Memorial Hermann Sleep Disorders Center.Also this hour, We discuss developments in Houston sports with Jeff Balke, who writes for Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine.Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. Share
Kolkata: An estimated 86.07 per cent of the 10,50,397 students passed the Madhyamik Pariksha (class 10) board examination in West Bengal, the results of which were announced on Tuesday. Sougata Das of Mahammadpur Deshpran Vidyapith in Purba Midnapore district topped the madhyamik examination securing 694 out of total 700 marks with 99.94 percentage. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), president Kalyanmoy Ganguly told a press meet here that this year’s 86.07 pass percentage was the highest in madhyamik examination in recent times. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Asked if results in other class 10 board examinations prompted the Madhyamik high scores as the topper got 694, the second 691 and the third and four ranked received 689 and 687 marks respectively, Ganguly said “we are not influenced by evaluation of other boards. We are following our own yardsticks. These students deservedly got such marks.” The results are available on the website wbbse.org. Purba Midnapore district registered the highest pass percentage of 96.01 per cent among the districts.
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 15+ min read September 5, 2018 Whether it’s a navigation app such as Waze, a music recommendation service such as Pandora or a digital assistant such as Siri, odds are you’ve used artificial intelligence in your everyday life.”Today 85 percent of Americans use AI every day,” says Tess Posner, CEO of AI4ALL.AI has also been touted as the new must-have for business, for everything from customer service to marketing to IT. However, for all its usefulness, AI also has a dark side. In many cases, the algorithms are biased.Related: What Is AI, Anyway? Know Your Stuff With This Go-To Guide.Some of the examples of bias are blatant, such as Google’s facial recognition tool tagging black faces as gorillas or an algorithm used by law enforcement to predict recidivism disproportionately flagging people of color. Others are more subtle. When Beauty.AI held an online contest judged by an algorithm, the vast majority of “winners” were light-skinned. Search Google for images of “unprofessional hair” and the results you see will mostly be pictures of black women (even searching for “man” or “woman” brings back images of mostly white individuals).While more light has been shined on the problem recently, some feel it’s not an issue addressed enough in the broader tech community, let alone in research at universities or the government and law enforcement agencies that implement AI.”Fundamentally, bias, if not addressed, becomes the Achilles’ heel that eventually kills artificial intelligence,” says Chad Steelberg, CEO of Veritone. “You can’t have machines where their perception and recommendation of the world is skewed in a way that makes its decision process a non-sequitur from action. From just a basic economic perspective and a belief that you want AI to be a powerful component to the future, you have to solve this problem.”As artificial intelligence becomes ever more pervasive in our everyday lives, there is now a small but growing community of entrepreneurs, data scientists and researchers working to tackle the issue of bias in AI. I spoke to a few of them to learn more about the ongoing challenges and possible solutions.Cathy O’Neil, founder of O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic AuditingSolution: Algorithm auditingBack in the early 2010s, Cathy O’Neil was working as a data scientist in advertising technology, building algorithms that determined what ads users saw as they surfed the web. The inputs for the algorithms included innocuous-seeming information like what search terms someone used or what kind of computer they owned.However, O’Neil came to realize that she was actually creating demographic profiles of users. Although gender and race were not explicit inputs, O’Neil’s algorithms were discriminating against users of certain backgrounds, based on the other cues.As O’Neil began talking to colleagues in other industries, she found this to be fairly standard practice. These biased algorithms weren’t just deciding what ads a user saw, but arguably more consequential decisions, such as who got hired or whether someone would be approved for a credit card. (These observations have since been studied and confirmed by O’Neil and others.)What’s more, in some industries — for example, housing — if a human were to make decisions based on the specific set of criteria, it likely would be illegal due to anti-discrimination laws. But, because an algorithm was deciding, and gender and race were not explicitly the factors, it was assumed the decision was impartial.”I had left the finance [world] because I wanted to do better than take advantage of a system just because I could,” O’Neil says. “I’d entered data science thinking that it was less like that. I realized it was just taking advantage in a similar way to the way finance had been doing it. Yet, people were still thinking that everything was great back in 2012. That they were making the world a better place.”O’Neil walked away from her adtech job. She wrote a book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, about the perils of letting algorithms run the world, and started consulting.Eventually, she settled on a niche: auditing algorithms.”I have to admit that it wasn’t until maybe 2014 or 2015 that I realized this is also a business opportunity,” O’Neil says.Right before the election in 2016, that realization led her to found O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing (ORCAA).”I started it because I realized that even if people wanted to stop that unfair or discriminatory practices then they wouldn’t actually know how to do it,” O’Neil says. “I didn’t actually know. I didn’t have good advice to give them.” But, she wanted to figure it out.So, what does it mean to audit an algorithm?”The most high-level answer to that is it means to broaden our definition of what it means for an algorithm to work,” O’Neil says.Often, companies will say an algorithm is working if it’s accurate, effective or increasing profits, but for O’Neil, that shouldn’t be enough.”So, when I say I want to audit your algorithm, it means I want to delve into what it is doing to all the stakeholders in the system in which you work, in the context in which you work,” O’Neil says. “And the stakeholders aren’t just the company building it, aren’t just for the company deploying it. It includes the target for the algorithm, so the people that are being assessed. It might even include their children. I want to think bigger. I want to think more about externalities, unforeseen consequences. I want to think more about the future.”For example, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is very good at encouraging engagement and keeping users on its site. However, there’s also evidence it reinforces users’ beliefs, rather than promoting dialog, and has contributed to ethnic cleansing. While that may not be evidence of bias, it’s certainly not a net positive.Right now, ORCAA’s clients are companies that ask for their algorithms to be audited because they want a third party — such as an investor, client or the general public — to trust it. For example, O’Neil has audited an internal Siemens project and New York-based Rentlogic’s landlord rating system algorithm. These types of clients are generally already on the right track and simply want a third-party stamp of approval.However, O’Neil’s dream clients would be those who don’t necessarily want her there.”I’m going to be working with them because some amount of pressure, whether it’s regulatory or litigation or some public relations pressure kind of forces their hand and they invite me in,” O’Neil says.Most tech companies pursue profit above all else, O’Neil says, and won’t seriously address the issue of bias unless there are consequences. She feels that existing anti-discrimination protections need to be enforced in the age of AI.”The regulators don’t know how to do this stuff,” O’Neil says. “I would like to give them tools. But, I have to build them first. … We basically built a bunch of algorithms assuming they work perfectly, and now it’s time to start building tools to test whether they’re working at all.”Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less LucrativeFrida Polli, co-founder and CEO of PymetricsSolution: Open source AI auditingMany thought artificial intelligence would solve the problem of bias in hiring, by making sure human evaluators weren’t prejudging candidates based on the name they saw on a resume or the applicant’s appearance. However, some argue hiring algorithms end up perpetuating the biases of their creators.Pymetrics is one company that develops algorithms to help clients fill job openings based on the traits of high-performing existing employees. It believes it’s found a solution to the bias problem in an in-house auditing tool, and now it’s sharing the tool with the world.Co-founder and CEO Frida Polli stresses that fighting bias was actually a secondary goal for Pymetrics.”We’re not a diversity-first platform,” Polli says. “We are a predictive analytics platform.”However, after seeing that many of her clients’ employee examples used to train Pymetrics’s algorithms were not diverse, combating bias became important.”Either you do that or you’re actually perpetuating bias,” Polli says. “So, we decided we certainly were not going to perpetuate bias.”Early on, the company developed Audit AI to make sure its algorithms were as neutral as possible when it came to factors including gender and race. If a company looking to fill a sales role had a sales team that was predominantly white and male, an unaudited algorithm might pick a candidate with those same traits. Polli was quick to point out that Audit AI would also recommend adjustments if an algorithm was weighted in favor of women or people of color.Some critics say if you tweak a hiring algorithm to remove bias you’re lowering the bar, but Polli disagrees.”It’s the age-old criticism that’s like, ‘oh well, you’re not getting the best candidate,'” Polli says. “‘You’re just getting the most diverse candidate, because now you’ve lowered how well your algorithm is working.’ What’s really awesome is that we don’t see that. We have not seen this tradeoff at all.”In May, Pymetrics published the code for its internal Audit AI auditing tool on Github. Polli says the first goal for making Audit AI open source is to encourage others to develop auditing techniques for their algorithms.”If they can learn something from the way that we’re doing it that’s great. Obviously there are many ways to do it but we’re not saying ours is the only way or the best way.”Other motivations include simply starting a conversation about the issue and potentially learning from other developers who may be able to improve Audit AI.”We certainly don’t believe in sort of proprietary debiasing because that would sort of defeat the purpose,” Polli says.”The industry just needs to be more comfortable in actually realizing that if you’re not checking your machine learning algorithms and you’re saying, ‘I don’t know whether they cause bias,’ I just don’t think that that should be acceptable,” she says. “Because it’s like the ostrich in the sand approach.”Related: The Scariest Thing About AI Is the Competitive Disadvantage of Being Slow to AdaptRediet Abebe, co-founder of Black in AI and Mechanism Design for Social GoodSolution: Promoting diverse AI programmers and researchers Use of facial recognition has grown dramatically in recent years — whether it’s for unlocking your phone, expediting identification at the airport or scanning faces in a crowd to find potential criminals. But, it’s also prone to bias.MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gehru, who received her PhD from the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, found that facial recognition tools from IBM, Microsoft and Face++ accurately identified the gender of white men almost 100 percent of the time, but failed to identify darker skinned women in 20 percent to 34 percent of cases. That could be because the training sets themselves were biased: The two also found that the images used to train one of the facial recognition tools were 77 percent male and more than 83 percent white.One reason machine learning algorithms end up being biased is that they reflect the biases — whether conscious or unconscious — of the developers who built them. The tech industry as a whole is predominantly white and male, and one study by TechEmergence found women make up only 18 percent of C-level roles at AI and machine learning companies.Some in the industry are trying to change that.In March 2017, a small group of computer science researchers started a community called Black in AI because of an “alarming absence of black researchers,” says co-founder Rediet Abebe, a PhD candidate in computer science at Cornell University. (Gehru is also a co-founder.)”In the conferences that I normally attend there’s often no black people. I’d be the only black person,” Abebe says. “We realized that this was potentially a problem, especially since AI technologies are impacting our day-to-day lives and they’re involved in decision-making and a lot of different domains,” including criminal justice, hiring, housing applications and even what ads you see online.”All these things are now being increasingly impacted by AI technologies, and when you have a group of people that maybe have similar backgrounds or correlated experiences, that might impact the kinds of problems that you might work on and the kind of products that you put out there,” Abebe says. “We felt that the lack of black people in AI was potentially detrimental to how AI technologies might impact black people’s lives.”Adebe feels particularly passionate about including more African women in AI; growing up in Ethiopia, a career in the sciences didn’t seem like a possibility, unless she went into medicine. Her own research focuses on how certain communities are underserved or understudied when it comes to studying societal issues — for example, there is a lack of accurate data on HIV/AIDS deaths in developing countries — and how AI can be used to address those discrepancies. Adebe is also the co-founder and co-organizer of Mechanism Design for Social Good, an interdisciplinary initiative that shares research on AI’s use in confronting similar societal challenges through workshops and meetings.Initially, Abebe thought Black in AI would be able to rent a van to fit all the people in the group, but Black in AI’s Facebook group and email list has swollen to more than 800 people, from all over the world. While the majority of members are students or researchers, the group also includes entrepreneurs and engineers.Black in AI’s biggest initiative to date was a workshop at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in December 2017 that garnered about 200 attendees. Thanks to partners such as Facebook, Google and ElementAI, the group was able to give out over $150,000 in travel grants to attendees.Abebe says a highlight of the workshop was a keynote talk by Haben Girma, the first deaf/blind graduate from Harvard Law School, which got Abebe thinking about other types of diversity and intersectionality.Black in AI is currently planning its second NIPS workshop.As part of the more informal discussions happening in the group’s forums and Facebook group, members have applied and been accepted to Cornell’s graduate programs, research collaborations have started and industry allies have stepped forward to ask how they can help. Black in AI hopes to set up a mentoring program for members.Related: Why Are Some Bots Racist? Look at the Humans Who Taught Them.Tess Posner, CEO of AI4ALLSolution: Introducing AI to diverse high schoolersThe nonprofit AI4ALL is targeting the next generation of AI whiz kids. Through summer programs at prestigious universities, AI4ALL exposes girls, low-income students, racial minorities and those from diverse geographic backgrounds to the possibilities of AI.”It’s becoming ubiquitous and invisible,” says Tess Posner, who joined AI4ALL as founding CEO in 2017. “Yet, right now it’s being developed by a homogenous group of technologists mostly. This is leading to negative impacts like race and gender bias getting incorporated into AI and machine learning systems. The lack of diversity is really a root cause for this.”She adds, “The other piece of it is we believe that this technology has such exciting potential to be addressed to solving some key issues or key problems facing the world today, for example in health care or in environmental issues, in education. And it has incredibly positive potential for good.”Started as a pilot at Stanford University in 2015 as a summer camp for girls, AI4ALL now offers programs at six universities around the country: University of California Berkeley, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, Simon Fraser University and Stanford.Participants receive a mix of technical training, hands-on learning, demos of real-world applications (such as a self-driving car), mentorship and exposure to experts in the field. This year, guest speakers included representatives from big tech firms including Tesla, Google and Microsoft, as well as startups including H20.ai, Mobileye and Argo AI.The universities provide three to five “AI for good” projects for students to work on during the program. Recent examples include developing algorithms to identify fake news, predict the infection path of the flu and map poverty in Uganda.For many participants, the AI4ALL summer program is only the beginning.”We talk about wanting to create future leaders in AI, not just future creators, that can really shape what the future of this technology can bring,” Posner says.AI4ALL recently piloted an AI fellowship program for summer program graduates to receive funding and mentorship to work on their own projects. One student’s project involved tracking wildfires on the West Coast, while another looked at how to optimize ambulance dispatches based on the severity of the call after her grandmother died because an ambulance didn’t reach her in time.Other graduates have gone on to create their own ventures after finishing the program, and AI4ALL provides “seed grants” to help them get started. Often, these ventures involve exposing other kids like themselves to AI. For example, three alumni started a workshop series called creAIte to teach middle school girls about AI and computer science using neural art, while another runs an after school workshop called Girls Explore Tech.Another graduate co-authored a paper on using AI to improve surgeons’ technique that won an award at NIPS’s Machine Learning for Health workshop in 2017.”We have a lot of industry partners who have seen our students’ projects and they go, ‘Wow. I can’t believe how amazing and rigorous and advanced this project is.’ And it kind of changes people’s minds about what talent looks like and who the face of AI really is,” Posner says.Last month, AI4ALL announced it will be expanding its reach in a big way: The organization received a $1 million grant from Google to create a free digital version of its curriculum, set to launch in early 2019.Related: Artificial Intelligence May Reflect the Unfair World We Live inChad Steelberg, co-founder and CEO of VeritoneSolution: Building the next generation of AISerial entrepreneur Chad Steelberg first got involved in AI during his high school years in the 1980s, when he worked on algorithms to predict the three-dimensional structures of proteins. At the time, he felt AI’s capabilities had reached a plateau, and he ended up starting multiple companies in different arenas, one of which he sold to Google in 2006.A few years later, Steelberg heard from some friends at Google that AI was about to take a huge leap forward — algorithms that could actually understand and make decisions, rather than simply compute data and spit back a result. Steelberg saw the potential, and he invested $10 million of his own money to found Veritone.Veritone’s aiWARE is an operating system for AI. Instead of communicating between the software and hardware in a computer, like a traditional operating system, it takes users’ queries — such as “transcribe this audio clip” — and finds the best algorithm available to process that query, whether that’s Google Cloud Speech-to-Text, Nuance or some other transcription engine. As of now, aiWARE can scan more than 200 models in 16 categories, from translation to facial recognition.Algorithms work best when they have a sufficiently narrow training set. For example, if you try to train one algorithm to play go, chess and checkers, it will fail at all three, Steelberg says. Veritone tells the companies it works with to create algorithms for very narrow use cases, such as images of faces in profile. AiWARE will find the right algorithm for the specific query, and can even trigger multiple algorithms for the same query. Steelberg says when an audio clip uses multiple languages, the translations aiWARE returns are 15 percent to 20 percent more accurate than the best single engine on the platform.Algorithms designed for parsing text and speech, such as transcription and translation, are another area prone to bias. One study found algorithms categorized written African American vernacular English as “not English” at high rates, while a Washington Post investigation found voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa have a hard time deciphering accented English.Though it wasn’t built to eliminate bias, aiWARE ends up doing exactly that, Steelberg says. Just like the human brain is capable of taking all of its learned information and picking the best response to each situation, aiWARE learns which model (or models) is most appropriate to use for each query.”We use our aiWARE to arbitrate and evaluate each of those models as to what they believe the right answer is, and then aiWARE is learning to choose which set of models to trust at every single point along the curve,” Steelberg says.It’s not an issue if an algorithm is biased. “What’s problematic is when you try to solve the problem with one big, monolithic model,” Steelberg says. AiWARE is learning to recognize which models are biased and how, and work around those biases.Another factor that results in biased AI is that many algorithms will ignore small subsets of a training set. If in a data set of 1 million entries, there are three that are different, you can still achieve a high degree of accuracy overall while performing horribly on certain queries. This is often the reason facial recognition software fails to recognize people of color: The training set contained mostly images of white faces.Veritone tells companies to break down training sets into micro models, and then aiWARE can interpolate to create similar examples.”You’re essentially inflating that population, and you can train models now on an inflated population that learn that process,” Steelberg says.Using small training sets, aiWARE can build models for facial recognition with accuracy in the high 90th percentile for whatever particular subcategory a client is interested in (e.g., all the employees at your company), he says.Steelberg says he believes an intelligent AI like aiWARE has a much better chance of eliminating bias than a human auditor. For one, humans will likely have a hard time identifying flawed training sets. They also might bring their own biases to the process.And for larger AI models, which might encompass “tens of millions of petabytes of data,” a human auditor is just impractical, Steelberg says. “The sheer size makes it inconceivable.”
June 30, 2006 Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. [Photo & text: sa] Tile artist Linda Fournier has been part of the Arcosanti Urban Laboratory for over 16 years. She carefully paints glaze on parts of a tile. [Photo & text: sa] Many of the bathrooms and kitchens at Arcosanti are accented with Arcosanti tiles. Tiles and switch plates are available at the Arcosanti Gallery and Visitors Center and at the gallery at Cosanti. [Photo & text: sa]
January 16, 2008 Foundry Manager, Jim Hornberger puts the finishing touches on a Special Assembly bronze chandelier. The piece, prepared for a client based in Los Angeles, originates from the foundry at Cosanti, where it was likely poured and assembled in the late 1960s. For the restoration, Hornberger gave the chandelier a modern twist by using bells created at Arcosanti, effectively including more recent foundry artists in the new version. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt] The piece, when it arrived in August, with the majority of the chain links attached and the electrical components in … sad disarray. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt] Here it hangs. Amidst another day’s work by two foundry staff, Gabriel Hendrix (l) and Nile Fahmy (r). At present the piece waits for departure from beneath the canopies of the Arcosanti Foundry. [Photos: sa & text: Amber Klatt]
The Internet has connected the world’s people, companies, and governments like never before. Is it any wonder then that it’s also a major focus for politicians?In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama once again predictably called for a new package of cybersecurity legislation.We talked last week about some of the problems with new cybersecurity legislation and suggested the issue should be left to the market. While we stand by that position, it’s clear that many of the security products currently out there don’t do their jobs as well as they should. A survey of IT professionals published last week found that the average large organization wastes an enormous amount of time and money sifting through the nearly 17,000 malware alerts each week to find the 19% that are considered reliable.On top of cybersecurity rules, the president promised to push for net neutrality rules, as the White House has been doing for the last few weeks. Unlike so many of the programs listed in last night’s speech, this one could actually happen. The insistence on using ancient Title II regulations to do it is a message to Congress: the FCC has the power to make this into law all by itself, and if a Republican congress wants to stop it, it’ll have to either sue or pass a law, attempting to hand over more power to the telcos—something that probably won’t sit well come next election cycle. No wonder Obama waited six years to touch his campaign promise on net neutrality—it’s a powerful populist weapon.Last, Obama also promised more transparency in the government’s surveillance program. Considering the federal government’s record on transparency, I’d be skeptical about that one.As television viewership of the State of the Union has fallen steadily for years, the White House tried a new tactic to reach the American people on Tuesday: it broke its own media embargo by posting the entire text of the speech online before the president even began.Maybe one day they’ll realize we’re all tuning out specifically because we already know what they’re going to say.Windows 10—Free, with Lots of Bells and WhistlesMicrosoft is beginning to create a big buzz for the forthcoming Windows 10. It helps that the company will be giving it away for free to those with Windows 7 or 8 already… but only if they act fast and adopt it within the first year after release.Bribes to upgrade aside, the company is touting some pretty cool new features for the operating system, which will run on everything from cellphones to full-fledged PCs.First, it’s bringing its own personal assistant, Cortana, to the desktop. You can bet Apple will rush out a Siri app for OS X sometime before that happens. But with the possibilities available to Microsoft with Kinect’s array microphones and cameras, the company could finally get back ahead of its shiny Silicon Valley nemesis for some time again.The company is also doing away with the dated Internet Explorer, rebuilding and rebranding it as Spartan. Whether it can slow down the enormous growth of Google’s Chrome, which has soared to the top browser spot, remains to be seen. But with Firefox now defaulting to Yahoo search and Spartan most-likely doing the same for Bing, your browser choice may soon be more dictated by your search engine choice than its own features.The desktop isn’t the only place getting some love: Windows Phone is also getting its own version of Office, as well as deep Skype integration.The company also revealed the Surface Hub, a massive 84-inch, 4k resolution touchscreen for enterprise meetings. It uses Kinect-style sensors and its massive touchscreen to try and replace the whiteboard, the conference phone, and every other meeting gadget in one shot… when it will be released and for how much are still a mystery.And last but not least, it dipped even further into the research vaults to show off its own augmented reality headset and development platform: Windows Holographic and the HoloLens.The new OS won’t hit retail availability until late this year—much longer for the aforementioned gadgets, we’d guess. However, it already seems that—unlike the timid Windows 8 release cycle—this time the company is playing for keeps.Market-Moving FinancialsEarnings season is kicking back into gear once again, with the Q4 numbers starting to trickle in. On January 20, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported weak quarterly results. The chipmaker’s PC segment turned in a poor performance, despite stabilization in the PC market. AMD hopes to turn things around with its new line of Carrizo chips.In Q4, AMD’s sales totaled $1.24 billion, down from $1.59 billion in the year-ago quarter and roughly in line with the consensus. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.00, compared to $0.06 in the year-ago quarter and a penny less than the consensus. Revenue for the Computing and Graphics segment, which deals in laptop and desktop chips, was $662 million, declining from $888 million in the year-ago quarter.AMD’s turnaround plans include shoring up its position in PCs, the company’s core market. To that end, AMD is rolling out its Carrizo line of chips, which will ship in the second quarter. With Carrizo, AMD hopes to improve the battery life and performance on laptops. It’s also focusing on squeezing more graphics performance from the low-power chips—useful when playing games and watching high-resolution video.Following the report, AMD climbed over 5%.On January 15, Intel (INTC) reported a solid quarter, thanks to stabilization in the PC market and torrid growth in the data center segment. Mobile, on the other hand, was a drag on results.For Q4, Intel posted sales of $14.72 billion, up 6% from $13.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Consensus called for sales of $14.70 billion. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.74, up 45% from $0.51 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus of $0.66. For the full year, sales totaled $55.8 billion, compared to $52.7 billion in 2013, nearly a 6% increase. It was the first full year of revenue growth since 2011.In Q4, the company’s PC segment posted sales of $8.9 billion, up 3% from the year-ago quarter. This segment is benefiting from stabilization in the PC market, which stems from several factors, including Microsoft’s discontinuance of technical support of its Windows XP operating system, which encouraged users to upgrade to newer devices. Also, the rising popularity of hybrid tablet-laptop computers was a factor.The company’s data center segment was the main bright spot, at least in terms of growth. For Q4, revenues were $4.1 billion, up a whopping 25% from the year-ago quarter.Intel is desperately trying to make inroads into the mobile market. But revenues are heading in the wrong direction. For the quarter, mobile revenues actually totaled negative $6 million. That’s because Intel is paying subsidies to customers to take its mobile chips.On January 20, Netflix (NFLX) smashed earnings estimates and posted stellar growth, thanks to strong subscriber growth, especially overseas.In Q4, the company’s sales totaled $1.48 billion, up 26% from $1.17 billion in the year-ago quarter. Sales were roughly in line with consensus estimates. Adjusted EPS was $0.72, down 9% from $0.79 in the year-ago quarter, but well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.44.Netflix continues to reel in loads of subscribers. For the quarter, the company added 4.33 million subscribers globally, ahead of the 4 million the company had previously forecast. International subscriber growth was especially robust, with the company adding about 2.43 million subscribers, a 40% increase from the 1.74 million added during the year-ago period. The company currently has 57.4 million subscribers globally.Netflix is making a strong push into original content, which provides a better ROI than licensed content. This year, the company will launch roughly one original series a month.On the heels of the report, Netflix soared 17%.On January 20, IBM (IBM) released financial results. In Q4, the company reported sales of $24.1 billion, slightly below the consensus estimate of 24.9 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $5.81, well ahead of the consensus estimate of $5.41.For 2014, IBM’s sales were $92.9 billion, falling 7% from 99.8 billion in 2013. Adjusted earnings per share were $16.53, a 3% decrease from $16.99 in the prior year.Though the company blew away earnings estimates, share price slid over 5% in early trading. That’s because in addition to weaker than expected sales, the company issued a disappointing outlook for 2015, with midpoint guidance for earning per share at $16.13 versus consensus expectations of $16.51.Q4 marked the 11th straight sequential quarter that IBM’s sales have declined as the company fights to transition away from its traditional hardware, software, and tech services businesses to higher-margin and growth areas like cloud, security, analytics, and mobile. “We are making significant progress in our transformation, continuing to shift IBM’s business to higher value, and investing and positioning ourselves for the longer term,” says CEO Virginia Rometty.Analysts are worried, however, as they contemplate whether those new businesses can grow fast enough to keep up with deterioration of the old one. IBM’s destiny is beginning to look like a race against time.On January 20, Super Micro Computer (SMCI) posted top- and bottom-line results that smashed the Street’s estimates, thanks to strong demand for the company’s servers. For Q2 2015, Super Micro booked sales of $503 million, up a scorching 41% from $356 million in the year-ago quarter and miles ahead of the consensus estimate of $467 million. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.65, up 85% from $0.35 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.47.Super Micro makes servers, server boards, and power supplies. The company has a tight relationship with Intel, which allows it to be among the first to market products utilizing Intel’s latest chips. The close collaboration is paying off in spades, much to the dismay of server rivals such as Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Dell, all of which move much slower and charge much larger margins.Despite the strong quarterlies, Super Micro shares shed 5%.Bits & BytesIf you miss the satisfaction of snapping your phone shut like the good old days, you may be in luck. Rumors indicate that LG may be working on an Android flip phone.Meanwhile, Samsung is going on its own, dropping Qualcomm chips in favor of house-built ones.Amazon’s going greener. The company recently announced that it’s working with Pattern Energy Group to construct a 150MW wind farm in Indiana to help power its data centers.In other Amazon news, the company has also recently announced plans to make movies for theaters and Prime streaming. Amazon plans to produce up to 12 movies each year as part of the new initiative; the films will become available to US Prime subscribers just four to eight weeks after they hit theaters.For how much we talk about cyberwar, cybercrime, and cybersecurity in these pages, you regular readers may be shocked to read the list of the 25 most popular passwords of 2014. Spoiler alert: “123456” and “password” topped the list once again.Not quite as intimidating as The Terminator, this military cyborg biker that was presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes me think that our judgment day at the hands of killer robots is still a ways off.Apple has acquired the British startup Semetric, the company behind the music analytics service Musicmetric. The acquisition could be part of Apple’s plans to rebrand and relaunch the Beats Music streaming service it shuttered in September of last year.It turns out HealthCare.gov is more than just a crappy website. According to the Associated Press, it’s also quietly sending personal health information on millions of Americans to a number of third-party websites.SpaceX just raised $1 billion in new funding in a round that was four times larger than all its other rounds combined and included Google and Fidelity. The two new investors will now own just less than 10% of the company.Of course car-hailing service company Uber is in the news again this week… this time with its announcement that the four-year old company is already 3.5 times the size of the whole taxi market in its most mature market of San Francisco.Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that VCs pumped $48.3 billion into US startups during 2014, up 61% from 2013 and the most since the $105 billion invested in 2000.The Sony hack is back in the news again. New reports suggest that the only reason US officials were confident that North Korea was behind the attack is because the NSA has been spying on North Korea for years.Speaking of the Sony hack, Netflix will begin streaming the movie that was at the center of the controversy, The Interview, this weekend. If you’re a Netflix customer, you’ll be able to watch it for free starting Sunday.Overstock has announced plans to launch its own video streaming service to directly challenge Amazon Prime Video. The company plans to have about 30,000 titles available for on-demand service by mid-2015 and then start a streaming service with both acquired and original content by year end.Google Glass is dead, at least for now. The company said it will stop selling the current version of Glass. But Google insists this isn’t the end. The Glass team will move out of its Google X labs and into its own independent division. And according to the company “we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready.”Last week we reported that CNN was going to begin to use drones in its newsgathering and reporting efforts. Now the New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC are getting into the drone game as well, through a partnership with Virginia Tech to test drones for news gathering.If you’re worried that our skies will be littered with drones in no time and that privacy even on one’s own property will be a thing of the past, take solace in the fact that a team of commercial drone developers are creating a drone whose sole purpose is to seek, intercept, and destroy other drones that get too close.Facebook is trying to juice its app numbers by blocking third party apps from using the WhatsApp service it purchased last year. Maybe those ad growth numbers are slowing?Last, in a sign that despite the rapidly changing times, high-school students are still mostly the same—picking on each other, sharing dirty pictures, and rebelling from the traditions of their parents’ generation (like Facebook and Twitter)—Apple has had to ban for the second time in a matter of weeks the pseudo-anonymous chat app “After School.” The service has also proven, thankfully, less than fully anonymous: it provided data to Detroit police after a third student used it to threaten to bring guns to school, which resulted in an arrest.
Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there? Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else. The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god. But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization. Justin: Why should the average American care about this? Doug: It’s part of the gradual destruction of Western culture. Lots of termites—including socialism, cultural Marxism, gender warfare—have been eating away at the foundations of Western Civilization for decades. Islam, in itself, isn’t a real threat. The Koran, which PC types love to treat with respect, is just poorly written medieval sci-fi. It’s living proof that humans are capable of believing absolutely anything. That said, Islam is a threat to the West because tens of millions of migrants are being invited to come and live at the expense of the current residents. Europe will collapse from within, as did Rome. The average European believes in nothing—except that his civilization not only isn’t worthy, but is actually evil. No wonder the migrants treat them with contempt. The Mohammedans—although I’ll note it’s now very un-PC to call them that—are technologically and economically backward. As long as they put the Koran at the center of their lives—and they have to, because it is the direct, incontrovertible word of Allah—they’ll remain backward. If, through an accident of geology, there wasn’t a lot of low cost oil in places they live, the West would have no reason to care what they think, say, or do. They’d be no more than an interesting tourist attraction. The good news is that, over the next 100 years, most Muslims will fall away from their primitive beliefs. But that’s another story… And a lot is going to happen in the meantime. Recommended Link These insiders are all quietly backing what The Economist calls “one of the world’s hottest investments.” Already, some of these plays have climbed an extraordinary 1,442% in 5 months… 503% in 30 days… 1,696% in 10 days. If you feel like you’ve missed out on this bull market, then watch this video. Recommended Link Justin: Doug, I know you think the European Union (EU) has been destined to fail from the start. Could religious tensions spark this inevitable crisis? Or will an economic or financial crisis be the final nail in the EU’s coffin? Doug: Religion is definitely playing into the crisis. Because you have to remember that, in continental Europe, Kosovo, Albania, and Turkey, are already Muslim, as are parts of Bulgaria. 10% of Western Europe is already Muslim. There are about 20 million Muslims in southern Russia, and that’s going to be a big problem for Moscow. There’s always blowback from running an empire, something the French and British have found as well. And Americans are discovering. Enemy sympathizers are already within the gates. London is turning into Karachi, Paris into Kinshasa, and Rome into Lagos. I wouldn’t doubt that there’s going to be a war against Islam. Even though, as I said, very few Europeans take Christianity seriously anymore. Islam, however, is much more virulent than Christianity—it’s like Christianity in the Middle Ages. Even if the average Muslim is basically “get along go along” with his religion in daily life, when push comes to shove, yeah, he takes his religion quite seriously—the way Christians did hundreds of years ago. So this is very serious. It’s a cultural war, much more than an economic or military one. And I’m afraid the West has already about lost it. It’s really tragic, because almost everything good in the world has come out of the West—in particular freedom, capitalism, individualism, science, technology, literature. Future generations will miss them. It’s sad. Justin: Doug, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Doug: Sure, anytime. Editor’s note: Every month, Doug shares his unique insights in The Casey Report, our flagship publication. If you sign up today, you’ll get complete access to all of our archived content, including recent essays by Doug on the Greater Depression, the migrant crisis, and technology. You’ll also receive specific, actionable advice to help you protect and grow your personal financial empire. You can sign up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report right here. Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe. I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war. Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously. So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen? Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs. The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference. — PayPal Billionaire Peter Thiel Netscape founder (and Facebook board member) Marc Andreesen MIT White House Budget Chief Mark Mulvaney Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock — The White House Budget Chief is backing this investment (did Trump tell him something?) Take a look at this list: Jamie McIntyre, CEO of 21st Century Education Nassim Taleb, creator of Black Swan theory John McAfee, founder of McAfee Inc. Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook VP The “Deep State” HATES this stuff You see this mysterious red fluid? To Trump-haters in Congress, the media and big cities… And to the “Deep State” that’s trying to take control of America from the darkest corners of Washington… This incredible new substance is the sum of all fears. That’s because starting in 2017, it could literally destroy all opposition to President Trump… And cement his legacy as the undisputed “greatest president in history” — even among his worst enemies. You can find out why right here.
From Hollywood and Bollywood to the media, NGO and corporate worlds, stories about harassment and discrimination against women in the workplace have captured global attention for months. And rightly so.But what about the millions of rural women facing these injustices, who almost never make the headlines?Development agencies have struggled to find ways to help rural women overcome obstacles in male-dominated societies and to gain an education, to own land, to take out loans, to earn a living and to gain equal rights in all arenas.But what we’ve seen while conducting research in Western Nepal is that sometimes the best projects don’t lead to the best results – that a woman’s right to make decisions doesn’t always follow from the conventional measures of success like education or income.We also saw that some women gain power through unexpected pathways.The surprising stories of 3 womenWith respect to education, 26-year-old Sarita Chaudry, whom we interviewed a few weeks ago, would get high marks. She finished 12th grade and is now a first-grade teacher in Kuti village. The more advanced math skills she learned at school also enable her to handle the accounting for a women’s savings group on a volunteer basis. She is married and is a mom.But Chaudry does not lead a fully independent life. Despite earning more than her husband, she told us she can only shop for food and household goods in his company – and needs his permission to buy them. Furthermore, she does not challenge these norms but accepts them as “natural” because this is how things were for her mother.By contrast, 39-year-old Ujeli BK would seem to lack the resources that Chaudry has. She is not educated and owns only a small plot of land. She uses two initials as her last name instead of its spelled out form, which denotes her low social status as a dalit or “untouchable.” Ujeli’s husband works in India as many Nepali men do, especially in the south, because higher wages can be earned across the border. He only visits once or twice a year during the festival season.Life is tough for Ujeli, who lives in a small mud hut and has four children. She grows lentils, cauliflower, eggplant and rice, depending on the season, but has difficulty finding help to plow her land as labor is scarce. Women are not able to take on this activity as they are not taught to handle the equipment, and it is believed a woman plowing land can invoke disaster. Unable to afford her own irrigation equipment, she has to rent a pump to water her fields, but its owner lets her use it only at night.A male neighbor threatened violence against her when he wrongly suspected that she had been stealing vegetables from his land. While recounting the story, Ujeli remained calm and added that if her husband was present, her neighbor would likely not have felt emboldened to make threats against her.Despite these circumstances, Ujeli told us she has succeeded in cultivating the confidence to take on “male” responsibilities and make her own decisions. She said that even if she had no husband at all, she now feels like she could take care of herself. She developed this confidence, she remarked, because she had no alternative. She knew she had to coordinate the irrigation of her fields and perform other traditionally “male” roles or else she would not be able to provide for her family. Each new step, from beginning to drive her husband’s motorcycle to managing the irrigation equipment, gave Ujeli confidence to take on even more.Krishna Devi Chaudhary’s husband passed away years ago, while her two sons were toddlers. She entered uncharted territory, as she began managing the household and vegetable fields on her own. Like Ujeli, she struggles to gain access to the tools she needs. With limited funds, she has to bargain with her neighbors over the rental price of irrigation pumps. She carries the cauliflower and eggplant she grows on her back to local markets as she does not feel able to ride a motorcycle, which is usually a culturally taboo for women.Yet Chaudhary, now 41, told us she has found a hard-won sense of independence and authority. Knowing that the future success of her children was in her hands alone, she found courage to act outside the norms for women in her village, such as seeking out men to bargain for equipment. As further proof of this empowerment, she will attend the upcoming wedding of one of her sons, to which 500 guests have been invited. According to local tradition, the woman waits at home for the married couple to arrive, but as her husband is no longer with them, she feels she can attend in his stead.Rethinking the way to break down barriersThe experiences of these women, reflecting our survey results from 150 rural households, tell us it is time to rethink the way we assess and promote women’s empowerment. In rural areas, practical steps alone, like providing the means to bring goods to a market or to obtain equipment, cannot create lasting change as long as women remain largely unable to make decisions independently of their husbands and male family members.The first step toward empowerment is helping marginalized men and women recognize the injustices they face and realize that they have rights and choices.We and our partners in Nepal are working to improve upon the “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” – a method used widely by the Feed the Future initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to measure progress toward gender equality in rural households. We believe that rural women’s inward determination to challenge oppressive gender norms — what we have termed their critical consciousness — is an important missing step in bringing about their empowerment.We believe that engaging men and women in the community through workshops and discussions on gender issues is a way to break down the barriers holding rural women back. We have used role playing successfully in communities to help both sexes become more aware that prevailing gender norms can be changed.”Women can work as well as men,” one male participant, Kamal Bishawkarma, told us. “That is what the training has taught me.”As the headlines teach us every day, apparent signs of progress toward gender equality are masking what can be oppressive and abusive realities for women. This is just as true in the remote farm households of Western Nepal as in the gleaming corporate offices of the industrialized world.”I make decisions. My sons listen, and they follow,” Krishna Devi Chaudhary, the 41-year-old single mom, told us. These words of authority and conviction should be the words by which women’s empowerment is measured, in any village and in any society.Floriane Clement is a social scientist with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which leads the CGIAR Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Corey O’Hara is a doctoral candidate at Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, USA. The journal World Development recently published their findings from Western Nepal on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
workplace violence April 5, 2018 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article Heather R. Huhman The entire country is on edge. The shootings at YouTube headquarters happened just this week.Related: YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and DemonetizationPlaces that used to feel safe — from schools and churches to concert venues and workplaces — now feel anything but. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 500 workplace homicides in the United States in 2016, making violence the second-most-common cause of death in the workplace.Because April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now for leaders to revisit how to handle and prevent dangerous situations. While no one can predict when a violent incident will occur at work, having the right precautions in place can help keep employees safe.Vet potential employees.The first step to avoiding workplace violence is keeping offenders out of your company. Perform thorough background checks to see if candidates have committed crimes in the past. If there are red flags or signs of violent tendencies, these people shouldn’t be hired.If a person has had (or has, while working for you) an isolated incident, leaders must make a judgment call. For example, you could require the individual to undergo anger management therapy so he or she can be a productive, rather than potentially violent, employee.Related: 12 Ways to Spot a Potentially Violent Person in the WorkplaceAlso, use the job interview as a way to assess a job candidate’s personality. Ask questions about previous terminations or gaps in employment and see how the person reacts. If innocuous questions make a person uncomfortable, he or she probably isn’t the best hiring choice.Have a clear plan, and consequences.“Even the best safety plans are only effective if they are put into practice,” Bob Folster, director of loss control services at small-business insurance company Employers in Sacramento, told me in an email. To feel safe, employees need to know what policies are in place to protect them. This means conducting drills, no matter how unlikely an event might seem. Have employees practice where they’d go or how they would react to scenarios like a robbery or shooting. After each drill, leave time for questions so employees can discuss any concerns they might have.Also, make it clear what consequences employees face if they act violently. While most companies have zero-tolerance policies about workplace violence, gray areas still exist.For example, if an enraged employee throws a stapler, but doesn’t hit anyone, is that a fireable offense? No matter how unlikely a situation may seem, make sure everyone knows what will happen as a result. That way, employees will see there are no loopholes that excuse violent behavior.Know (and share) the warning signs.After a violent incident, people often say, “I should have seen the warning signs.” While leaders aren’t expected to be violence experts, they do need to know what behaviors signal an employee who’s struggling with anger.Some warning signs, like suddenly being late for work on multiple occasions, may seem harmless. But a change like this can show an employee is struggling. Taking the time to speak with this individual can potentially keep the situation from progressing to violence.Asa Sherwood, president of Chicago-based property management company FirstService Residential Illinois, said he likes to take an “it takes a village” approach. “We encourage colleagues to keep an eye out for each other and not be afraid to say something if they see something, so that, as employers, we can address concerns before they reach a tipping point,” Sherwood said via email. Educate employees about possible warning signs so they can help keep the workplace safe. In her book, Risky Business: Managing Employee Violence in the Workplace, Lynne McClure lists the following changes as precursors to violent behavior:Not taking responsibility for one’s mistakesDistancing oneself sociallyActing out of characterLying or partaking in risky behaviorRefusing to try new thingsHelp employees speak up.Leaders can’t be everywhere all the time. This is why employees need to feel safe coming forward if they feel threatened. They need to know there’s a way they can report incidents without fear of retribution.Jay Starkman, CEO of Hollywood, Fla.-based HR solutions company Engage PEO, said he believes this should be a part of employee training. In short: Everyone needs to know what the procedure will be after a violent workplace incident. “Violent behavior is common and must be dealt with promptly, uniformly and in such a way that employees feel comfortable in their ability to work, without the threat of violence or bullying,” Starkman said in an email.Related: Managing Conflict Is Essential to SuccessIf your employees are worried about coming forward, create a company email address where employees can anonymously report incidents that have made them feel uncomfortable. Knowing about these situations can allow you as a leader to address issues before the violence escalates. 5 min read Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. YouTube is only the latest workplace to experience violence. What are you doing to protect your workers? –shares Enroll Now for $5 Workplace Violence: How to Prepare for the Unimaginable Contributor Add to Queue
Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Ride-hailing service Lyft has agreed to settle a proposed class action lawsuit in California by giving drivers additional workplace protections but without classifying them as employees, removing a major threat to its business model.The settlement agreement, filed late on Tuesday in San Francisco federal court, provides for Lyft to pay $12.25 million, as well as give drivers notice if they are to be deactivated from the platform and other benefits.Lyft and larger rival Uber face separate lawsuits brought on behalf of drivers who contend they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses including gas and vehicle maintenance. The drivers currently pay those costs themselves.The cases have been closely followed because a determination that the workers are employees instead of contractors could affect the valuations for other startups that rely on large networks of individuals to provide rides, clean houses and other services.While the deal will involve some costs for Lyft, classifying drivers as employees would have been much more expensive and complicated, said Jan Dawson, chief analyst of Jackdaw Research.”It looks like Lyft got off fairly lightly here,” Dawson said.Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney for the drivers, acknowledged that the settlement does not achieve a reclassification of drivers as employees, but said the benefits are still significant.Unlike a separate lawsuit against Uber, which has been certified as a class action, Liss-Riordan said Lyft’s arbitration agreement with its drivers would have made it difficult for Lyft drivers to similarly sue as a group.Additionally, Liss-Riordan said her firm receives many more complaints from Uber drivers about issues with their pay, and about being deactivated from the platform.”We have not been hearing so many concerns from Lyft drivers, which leads us to believe that Lyft is treating its drivers with more respect than Uber is treating its drivers,” Liss-Riordan said.Uber representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Uber is scheduled for a June trial in San Francisco on whether its drivers are employees or contractors.As part of the settlement, Lyft has agreed that it can only deactivate drivers for specific reasons, like low passenger ratings. Drivers will be given an opportunity to address those issues before they are deactivated, according to the court filing.Lyft also agreed to pay the arbitration expenses for any driver who wants to challenge their deactivation or disputes over compensation.Lyft general counsel Kristin Sverchek said the company is pleased to resolve the lawsuit on terms that “preserve the flexibility of drivers to control when, where, and for how long they drive on the platform”.U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria would have to approve the deal. A hearing on preliminary approval is currently scheduled for February 18 in San Francisco.(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Miral Fahmy) Legal 3 min read Image credit: Lyft January 27, 2016 Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Lyft Gives California Drivers New Protections, But Won’t Classify Them as Employees Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Add to Queue
Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Internships for Adults Are on the Rise. Here’s What You Need to Know Careers This story originally appeared on CNBC An adult with years of experience would never consider an internship, right? Not necessarily. In fact, for people who have been out of the workforce for several years or who want to make a big career change, a returnship — the grown-up version of an internship — could be a second chance at success even if the paycheck is likely smaller than what workers are used to. “For people who are returning to work after a career break, participating in a formal returning professional internship program can be an excellent entree back into the workforce,” said Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch, a career resource website. While a returnship does not guarantee a job, it does provide marketable skills, experts said. They also offer mentorship, experience and a chance to learn about new industry trends and operations.”As our careers are extending, we’re going to need more nonlinear professional career paths, including opportunities to take breaks to look after children and elderly relatives,” said Julianne Miles, co-founder and director of professional network Women Returners. Many corporate giants are hopping on the trend. Companies such as Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cummins and Credit Suisse also offer returnship programs.Create a returnship, if one doesn’t existAlthough not all companies have returnships listed online, that doesn’t mean they can’t create one through networking, experts said.”Keep in mind that a professional returning to work after a career break can suggest an internship or internship-like experience to an employer that does not have a formal program,” Cohen said. So how do you go about creating one? “Be specific on … what you would like to do while there, and also what skills you would like to work on during your time there,” said Stacey Delo, founder of Maybrooks, a career resource for moms. “Communicate this in your pitch. Try approaching smaller businesses.” Show how your returnship would benefit the company, other experts said. “Pose this paid re-entry role as a win-win for the organization,” said Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for Top Resume, a career service website. “The employer gets some much needed help from an experienced professional, oftentimes at a discounted rate, while you get to learn about the latest technologies and trends in your field and gain some valuable experience,” Augustine added. But be sure to consider all of your optionsOther career experts warned against pursuing a returnship too quickly, before considering other higher-paying options. The ideal candidate for a returnship is someone who has been out of the workforce for more than five years, not just a couple of years, said Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO Corps Team, a staffing organization focused on experienced professionals seeking nontraditional careers. “The returnships — they’re not a guarantee of a job. So especially when you’ve been out three to five years, you’re still very marketable for job positions,” O’Kelly said. Returnships are usually full-time positions, O’Kelly added. This may be difficult for a person looking to transition more slowly into the workforce.”When considering a returnship, make sure you consider what your other options are,” O’Kelly said. “Is it that I want it to go back full-time? Do I want to get a full-time role, a part-time role?” Regardless of whether you decide to pursue a returnship, a part-time position or any other experience, O’Kelly said that the same rules of hard work and dedication apply. “You really want to get back in there, learn as much as you can, go above and beyond,” O’Kelly said. “Get involved in the company by going to activities, integrate yourself as an active team member.” Image credit: Shutterstock Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. June 7, 2016 Add to Queue Enroll Now for $5 –shares Marguerite Ward Next Article 4 min read